Parliamentary questions
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3 February 2017
Question for oral answer O-000009/2017
to the Commission
Rule 128
Hilde Vautmans, Nathalie Griesbeck, Beatriz Becerra Basterrechea, Angelika Mlinar, Cecilia Wikström, Charles Goerens, Gérard Deprez, Morten Helveg Petersen, Louis Michel, Petras Auštrevičius, on behalf of the ALDE Group
Cornelia Ernst, Barbara Spinelli, Marina Albiol Guzmán, Malin Björk, Marie-Christine Vergiat, Kostas Chrysogonos, Dennis de Jong, Josu Juaristi Abaunz, Stelios Kouloglou, Merja Kyllönen, Dimitrios Papadimoulis, Martina Anderson, on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group
Anna Maria Corazza Bildt, Roberta Metsola, Esteban González Pons, Elissavet Vozemberg-Vrionidi, Alessandra Mussolini, Salvatore Domenico Pogliese, Barbara Matera, Barbara Kudrycka, Agustín Díaz de Mera García Consuegra, Daniel Buda, Pál Csáky, Jeroen Lenaers, Mariya Gabriel, Henna Virkkunen, on behalf of the PPE Group
Caterina Chinnici, Tanja Fajon, Sylvie Guillaume, Cécile Kashetu Kyenge, Juan Fernando López Aguilar, Kati Piri, Anna Hedh, Soraya Post, Sylvia-Yvonne Kaufmann, Elly Schlein, Péter Niedermüller, Dietmar Köster, Christine Revault D'Allonnes Bonnefoy, Maria Grapini, Hugues Bayet, Luigi Morgano, Miltiadis Kyrkos

 Subject: Tackling the disappearance of migrant children in Europe

In January 2016, Europol revealed that at least 10 000 migrant and refugee children had gone missing in Europe, a state of affairs that remains unchanged to this day. Research conducted by Missing Children Europe and co-funded by the Commission found that such child disappearances are linked to underlying protection problems, including poor reception conditions, a lack of information, lengthy and complex family reunification and guardian appointment procedures, as well as fears of being detained, sent back to the country of origin or transferred to the first country of arrival. Missing migrant children are not systematically reported. According to Europol there are increasing risks related to smuggling, trafficking and related exploitation due to a chronic lack of coordination at national and cross-border level.

The Commission has already proposed a reform of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS), including targeted measures to prevent children from going missing in migration. In view of the seriousness and urgency of this issue, however, it is imperative that action be taken immediately:

1. When will the Commission present the comprehensive strategy to protect all children in migration, as announced in the European Agenda on Migration last May? How will the Commission address the clear conclusions and recommendations made during the 10th European Forum on the Rights of the Child and the ‘Lost in Migration’ conference in Malta?

2. What is the Commission doing to support Member States in relocating more children from Greece and Italy?

3. How will the Commission ensure that children will be a priority in the current CEAS? What measures will the Commission take to ensure that migrant children do not go missing from the asylum system due to fears relating to returns of irregular migrants?

4. What steps will the Commission take to improve the reporting of child disappearances to law enforcement bodies and the 116 000 hotline?

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